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J Psychosom Res. 2000 Oct;49(4):275-80.

Animal-assisted therapy - magic or medicine?

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Life Sciences Research Institute, Technikon Pretoria, Private Bag X680, 0001, Pretoria, South Africa.


A sound theoretical basis supported by scientifically measured physiological parameters is needed to gain medical support for animal-assisted therapy. Six neurochemicals associated with a decrease in blood pressure were measured in humans (n=18) and dogs (n=18) before and after positive interaction. Results (P<.05) indicated that in both species the neurochemicals involved with attention-seeking or attentionis egens behavior have increased. This information can be used as a rationale for animal-assisted therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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